Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Alumni Highlight - Shane Bennett
Courtesy: Jay Swenson
Shane Bennett, the assistant director of intramural sports and sports clubs at Southern Illinois-Carbondale (SIU), received his Master’s degree in Sport Management at Western Illinois in 2004.
While at Western Illinois, Bennett worked as a graduate assistant in campus recreation. While he always wanted to stay in recreation, he feels as though his passion for athletics influenced his decision to work in campus recreation.
Bennett said he gained a great deal through all the connections he made at Western Illinois. “The history and alumni connection through Western Illinois is amazing.”
Also while at Western Illinois, he started the Recreational Sports Professional Society that is still in existence today. The club is geared toward increasing the professional development of graduate students pursuing a career in the recreational field.
“That’s my baby,” Bennett said. “I take great pride in that club and hearing how it is doing.”
The club still remains active today and continues to contribute to building qualified campus recreation professionals.
Bennett also credited his enhanced recreational experiences to preparing him for his current position at Southern Illinois. He felt that his assistantship at Western Illinois and his internship with the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball program gave him the knowledge required for directing intramural programs and sports clubs. Because of this, he recommends that all students get involved in everything they possibly can.
“Students need to gain as much experience as possible, you can never get too much,” Bennett said. “Also, ask questions. People tend to shy away and not ask, but I would rather have you ask than just assume.”
He also takes great pride in helping students that work in his program at SIU. As the assistant director of intramural sports and sports clubs, he is in charge of helping undergraduate students develop their officiating skills and improve their overall leadership and supervision skills in the campus recreation field.
“I love my job and it is always fun and exciting to see what the world has in store for me day to day,” Bennett said. “The best part of my job is watching all of the students come into my office and grow through the years.”
Even with a busy schedule, Bennett is able to find time away from work to spend with his wife, Tena Wundeman (2000, M.S., Sport Management), and two-year-old daughter, Colbie. He said Tena and he are always on the run, as he officiates both football and basketball, and she officiates volleyball.